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Australian Agenda -

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(generated from captions) captioned by Ai-Media This program will be live

This is PM Agenda. Good afternoon welcome to

the program. If an election

were to be held weekend

today's Newspoll suggests the Coalition would score a thumping victory and Labor

will be reduced to a return

but the tone inside the final

year today would suggest party room meetings of the

otherwise. We will have more

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott on that shortly and what

had to say to their

respective backbench teams

behind closed tors today and

what some of the concerns of

wrapped things up for the the backbenchers were as they

parliamentary year. We will

also be talking to Finance

Minister Penny Wong in a few

minutes, has the government

finalised the deal on the

mining tax now? The vote

could be happening as soon as

tonight here in parliament.

stories this hour will First le will check the top

Vannessa.

David thank you, the bitter

dispute between Qantas and

its unions will be forced to

arbitration, the passengers

have been told they won't be

left stranded this Christmas.

The Federal Transport

Minister remains hopeful the

parties can find common

ground. Qantas and its unions

capital agree on much but one

thing looking more certain

will won't be strike action

before Christmas. On just

about every other point it is

deadlock. We are happy we are

going through that process,

we will be happy with

whatever the independent

arbitrator decides on. We

think that the unions should

declare the exact same thing,

nobody should dispute the

independent ruling of the

independent umpire. There has

been some agreement and

progress made with the three

unions but what is clear is

there is certainty for the

travelling public over the

holiday period. Unions want a

which offer job security. pay rise but also conditions

Parliaments have now called

for a -- pilots have now called for a judicial

enquiry. They say the

decision to ground the Qantas

fleet was not a snap decision. There was revelations that couriers were booked prior to the

Sunday delivery of notices or

actually in fact prior to the AGM. Under Fair Work

Australia each side during

arbitration will get to

support its case through

evidence. Pilots will argue

issues on fatigue management

Transport Workers Union says and flight times. The

it will decide tomorrow if it

legal challenge to the launches a whole separate

process. We are saying if

somebody's doing that job,

and they are being doing it

well, they have been making

profits for this company,

then they need to be

protected. The reasons a

legal case case for this to be challenged and

government's case is

extremely strong and we will

help the government and the

defend it. Any resolution to

this dispute will now be

decided by a process which

could drag on for months. Uniformed police officers

in Sydney have held a rally

to protest changes to

compensation payments. A

large crowd of officers

gathered in the parks near

Parliament House. The Police

Association says the changes

to the death and disability

scheme would slash

compensation payments for

injured officers. Officers

hope that today's march will

pressure the Opposition to

block the bill, which is

state parliament this week. expected to be introduced to

A ninth person has died as a

result of last week's fatal

nursing home fire in

north-western Sydney. The

latest victim, Neetje Valkay,

a 90-year-old woman, died in Liverpool Hospital shortly

after 9 a.m.. her death comes

as police release the name of

Doris Mercy Becke, two people the 8th victim, 96-year-old

who were killed during the

fire are yet to be formally

identified. Roger Dean, the

35-year-old nurse charged

with murder in connection to

the fire is due to appear in

central local court on

Thursday. Egypt's interim

can't has tended its resig --

cabinet has tendered its

resignation as tens of

thousands of people protest

on Cairo's Tahir Square. The

deaths have now reached 33. The number of demonstrators

have swelled in care row's

Tahir Square, the focal point

of a revolt that toppled

President Hosni Mubarak in

February. The Danish

royals Crown Prince Frederik

and Princess Mary are in

Canberra for the second leg

of their tour. The couple

were met by the Governor-General, before

being greeted by the Prime

Minister and attending a

luncheon at the Great Hall at

Parliament House. Mary and

Frederik have also visited

the national art gallery and

will now tour the Australian

War Memorial and they are due

at that memorial we are told

in around 20 minutes' time.

-- They have been in the

nation's capital as I say

where they were met by the

gog before greeting the Prime

Minister met by the

Governor-General before

greeting the Prime Minister.

The nation's pollitiontition

s then officially welcome --

politicians then officially

welcomed the royals, Prince

Frederik appeared relaxes

during his address, Tony

Abbott also quite humorous in

his address. The Prince though focused on the

importance of establishing

stronger links between

Australia and Denmark, Mary

and Frederik will visit as I

said earlier the national

portrait gallery and before heading to Melbourne Australian War Memorial

tomorrow. Quick look at tomorrow's weather now:

Back to David Speers in Canberra as 'PM Agenda'

continues. Thank you,

parliament wraps up for the

year this week and the

government is certainly

hoping to finish on a high.

With the passage of its mining tax through the lower house anyway. It will go

through the Senate next year.

Julia Gillard inherited this

reform area from Kevin Rudd

along with a number of

others, and admittedly,

firstly she had to do doo a

deal with the big miners to

get them on board, watered

down some of the key elements

get the crossbench on board. of the tax, then she had to

That was finalised yesterday

with the country independents

Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott

and also Andrew Wilkie from

Tasmania. The concessions she

has had to make have cost the

whole package about $300

million and the Greens are still worried about one of the concessions that was

given to Andrew Wilkie, this

is lifting the point at which the tax kicks in. It costs

about $100 million over five years and the Greens are

saying that money has to come

from somewhere and it has to

come from the mining sector. So, has the government now

found that money and how

confident is it that this

will go through. The vote

could happen as soon as

tonight in the Lower House. Penny Wong the Finance

Minister joined me now. Thanks four your time. Good

to be with you Is this a

done deal, have you found the

money yet? We will make sure

we provision for the shift in

the threshold for small

miners that you talked about in your introduction. We will

do that and that will all be

transparent when we release

the mid-year economic and

fiscal update. So you won't put that, make that public

for the Greens to see before

the vote? We are obviously going to continue our

discussions with the Greens,

look, this is a very

important week though, and

this is a week where the

Prime Minister has secured passage of this

legislation. Not yet. Not

yet. This is the point the

Greens want to see where the

money is coming from. Sure,

certainly through the Lower

House, what we will see is passage of the legislation,

and the reason that this legislation is important is

that it is about building a stronger and fairer

economy. Using the benefits

of the boom, spreading the

benefits of the boom fairly

amongst Australians and

making sure that more of us, more Australians share in the

benefits of the mining boom

Just to be clear, are you

going to detail where that

money is coming from in next week's mid-year budget update

or is it going to be before

the vote is held in the Lower

House? Well first, I'm not

going to indicate when the

mid-year budget update will

be. I have heard it is

Wednesday next week. It is

certainly before the end of

the year, before Christmas.

That is the case, and we will certainly ensure all figures

are updated when it is

released for the various

announcements associated with

the MRRT. We will also continue to have the discussion with the Greens. But the Greens have

said and their vote is important at the Lower House

as well. You need Adam Bandt

the Green s MP to vote for

this to go through. They want

to see the money coming from

the mining sector. Can you

see that will happen I will

not engage the discussions we

have with the Greens on

tvption with you, as much as

I'm sure you will be

interested in me doing so. I think Senator Brown has made

clear he does understand the

importance of this reform.

Obviously we have some

differences of views but I think he understands the

importance of this reform and

what's interesting at the

moment is we are also seeing

members of the Coalition

starting to understand the

benefits of this reform. We

see reports in the paper that

a Coalition member has described their position as

insane. Insane. Now, I agree

with that, I think it's a

ridiculous proposition to say we actually want miners to pay less tax, even though

they are prepared to pay it

and we want small business to pay more and we don't want

people to have the same sort

of superannuation entitlements. The Coalition's official position is to certainly oppose this and

they say your revenue

assumptions are bound to be

out because we have seen

falls in the coal and iron

ore price, we have seen the

dollar remaining high, how

can we trust the revenue assumptions they must have changed? Any update in revenue assumptions whether

it's on this or more broadly

will occur when we release

the mid-year update. The budget update. Next

week. Don't do that again,

come on. The budget update.

Can I say, it is pretty odd,

isn't it when you have got

the Coalition saying we will

oppose the tax, but we also

don't believe the revenue

figures. Well if you don't

believe them, you know, why

are you interested in them if

you are going to oppose

it. The point is you will have a budget black hole. If

you are getting less revenue. I'm happy to talk

about that. On the mining tax

you will get less revenue

than the $11 billion you have

forecast yet you have

committed to spending that money. Let's talk about the

black holes On the mining

tax. Let's tack about the $70

million that Andrew Robb, the shadow Finance Minister has

said they have to find just to get to the starting line.

They have no credibility when

it comes to black holes. On

the mining tax which you and

government has responsibility

for is there going to be

black hole created about I

this if there is less revenue

coming in but you are

spending more. We will update the figures in the mid-year

budget update. We have

released the revenue figures

for the mining tax, obviously

there is a lot of movement as

a result of where the

economy's going, across a

range of things. So we have

made that clear. Will you

have to draw on the budget

elsewhere to pay for this? We

will always sneer we are provisioned appropriately consistent with the budget

and fiscal strategy, which is

far more you can say with the

Opposition. You don't want me

to talk about that. It is in

the public interest. I do

think that. A drag on the

budget through this mining

tax? No, what I'm saying is

we have a mining tax which is about spreading the benefits

of the boom. What I'm also

saying is we will obviously

update the figures associated

with that in the mid-year

review and you will also see the Treasurer has made clear

to the states, as part of the

discussions, what we have put

on the public record,

previously which is the issue

of royalties. And which

royalties will and won't be

credited. And we put a very

clear date, a line in the

sand and the Treasurer's

written to the state

Treasurers to make that clear. They are not entirely

happy, particularly the Queensland and Western

Australia, the big mining

states, your Labor colleague, Andrew Fraser, the Treasurer in Queensland says they

should be able to apply these

royalties. Well, we have very

clear policy position. Which

is, royalties are not a

sensible, not a good tax.

They are taxes that are

applied on volumes, what they

mean if you want to go down

the royalties path is that

Australians don't share in

the benefits of the very high prices that we are getting

that we won't always get,

that we currently are getting, for coal and iron

ore. So we have got a very

clear policy position and we

say there should be a prompts based tax, that's what we are passing through the parliament, and in that

context it's not sensible to

continue to have a situation

where there is inconsistent royalty regimes I appreciate

you won't give us the date on

when the... Have you tried

three times. On next year's

mid-year budget update will

be released. But we are looking at multi-biller

dollar spending cuts are you prepared to take unpopular

decisions here? This is a

mid-year budget update and it

is one which will reflect

what has occurred across the

budget as a result of the

change in the outlook. We

have been upfront. The

Treasurer has been up front as well as I that obviously

when you have got a situation

like you have in the global

economy that's going to have

an effect. It is going to

have an effect on the

domestic economy, and therefore on government

revenues. And will that mean

some pain, some politically

unpopular choices? It means

we will have to confront some

difficult decisions. But, I

think it is important to

recognise it is an update, it

is not a mini budget as some

people have said. It is not a

budget. But it is an update

that will be consistent with

the sort of fiscal discipline

we have shown. Can I ask you

finally you weren't at the

meeting of the Labor left

faction on the weekend, but

you will be there at the

conference and we know you

will be arguing the case on

same sex marriage, why isn't a conscience vote as the

Prime Minister is advocating,

why isn't that good enough? I

have put my position pretty clearly on the public record

on that, and I don't propose

to elaborate on it today. We

will certainly have a longer

discussion in the context of

conference, I think it is all

credit to the Prime Minister

that she has had the maturity

to say we can have this

debate inside the party.

She's pit her views and

others have put theirs. She

is up for a mature debate

which unlike, is unlike Mr Abbott who is not listening

to the cause from someone on

his side At the conference

will you be amongst that

debate, will you be on stage

arguing the case? I think I

will certainly be putting my

view. Penny Wong thank

you. Good to be with

you. Stay with us, we will be back right after the break.

You are watching PM

Agenda, we have heard from Finance Minister Penny Wong

the case for the mining tax.

Which is the government is

certainly confident will go

through the Lower House this

week. Possibly as early as this evening with the House due to sit well into the

night. Possibly in the early

hours of tomorrow morning.

The Opposition though will be

voting against it, why? Well

the Coalition is concerned

about slugging the mining

sector, killing the goose

that lays the golden egg. And

also that the revenue

assumptions are out because

of the shifting price of iron

ore and coal. I spoke a short

time ago to the assistant,

the shadow assistant

Treasurer Mathias Korma in n. Thank you for your time.

What is your principle

objection to the mining

tax? The mining tax is a bad

tax from a bad government

which came out of a highly

dodgy process. We have got to remember how this all

started. This started with

the Henry tax review which

was supposed to be a once in

a generation opportunity for

root and branch form of our

tax system to make our system simpler and fairer. What we

have ended up with a dogs

breakfast which is manifestly

more complex and less fair with serious question marks

as to whether it would raise

the revenue the government

says it will raise and with

very clear indications, even

on the government's own figures, that the cost of all

of the promises the

government has tauched to the

mining tax will far exceed the revenue treasure projects

it will raise. How do you

know that? Well, Treasury has

released under the revenue

projections between now and

2020. We have got the figures

of course over the forward

estimates an over the forward estimates, the government

tells us that now the mining tax is expected to raise

$11.1 billion, $4 billion in

2013 and 2014. In 2013 and

2014 all of the cost of all

of the promises that Labor

has attached to it according

to their own figures is $2

billion higher than the

revenue the MRRL will

generate. So the government

has got a massive black hole

here. Then in the following

years won't the revenue increase from the mining

tax? This is the point. The

government projection,

treasury projections are

revenue from the mining tax is downward trending over

time. We currently have got records commodity prices, we

have got the best terms of

trade in 140 years, the expectations are that there

will be a supplier response

around the world, I have a

supply response, prices will

come off over time. But investment is increasing in auction even with the knowledge this mining tax is

about to come in. What the government should do is

should come clean and

transparently release all the revenue assumptions of the

viewer, the commodity price

assumption, the production

volume assumptions, these are

the information that state

governments who is sensitive

to these variation s publish

as a matter of course in

budget papers, Wayne Swan is

saying he is keeping it secret. He says it is

commercial in confidence,

miners can't have price assumptions released in the

public for come pet tors to

see. Had of what he is saying

is the three big miners given

exclusive access to negotiate

the mining tax design in

secret with the Prime

Minister and Treasurer are

the only ones to know, the

only ones allowed to know

what the government's revenue assumptions are. So here they

are, the government has

designed a tax which gives

thee three big miners an

unfair competitive advantage already and the government is

saying to us the only people

in the whole of Australia

allowed to know what the government's revenue

assumptions are are the big

three miners who designed the

tax. That's not... Do you

accept though a lot of people

are seeing this huge mining profit, multi-billion dollar

profits and they see the idea

of a mining tax as one they

support. All the polls show

is pretty strong support for this. Obviously companies

make huge profits and pay

company tax and mining

company whose get a lot of

resources out of the ground

pay royalties. Fortescue admitted they pay no company

tax. The reason they haven't. Andrew Forrest has done a

good job to start off a completely new company to

take it in record time, from

a start-up, to a company that

is now the fourth biggest in

Australia, I suspect. In the

context of iron ore. And of

course he should pay a fair

share of tax and of course he

pays royalties for the

resources he extracts from

Western Australia. And when

he makes profits. You know he

obviously will pay company

tax. But this is a whole

point. Like, the BHP and Rios

when they started off, were

able to have the same sort of start-up opportunities which

they now want to deny smaller local miners which the

government wants to deny

sorry, smaller local miners.

I mean the reality is, to

have smaller local miners

aspiring to become the BHPs

and Rios of tomorrow is a

good thing, is a good thing

for Australia and a good

thing for the economy and a

good thing for jobs and of

course the most successful

this companies are, the most

company tax they will pay on

profits But in saying no to

the mining tax you are saying

no to what it will pay for as well, the superannuation

increase, the company tax cut

for all other businesses, and

the instant asset write-offs

for small business. The

government has made a whole

series of promises which they

have attached to the mining

tax. There is a serious us

question mark of revenue that

raised but what we do know

the promises will continue to

increase over the time as the revenue will reduce over

time. That is according to Treasury projections so this

is a fiscal train wreck in

the making and the government

know s this which is why they

have been ducking and waving to not release information which we have seen seeking

for some time. Speaking of fiscal problems isn't there

an issue for the Coalition.

Tony Abbott has said, while

you will oppose it now if you

win the next election you will keep the superannuation

increase, but not the mining tax. It's another thing will

you have to pay for from where? Well, out of the eight

or so measures the government has attached to the mining

tax we have said we will not

rescind one and of course, we

are currently going through a process, through an expenditure review commity

process where we are going

through the duty line by

line, we are identifying government waste and we will

be funding the $7 40 million

that this measure costs over the current forward estimates. How much in total

did the Coalition need to

find with all policies you

have got. This is a process

we are going through now. We

are going through that

process very dillent ly line

by line. Is the $70 billion

the government uses

accurate? No, it is not. The

government has come up with

two multi-biller dollar new

tax the carbon tax and mining

tax and both the carbon tax

package and mining tax

package both leave the budget

worse off. The measures

attached to the revenue, both

cost more than the revenue

it's going to generate. Only

the Labor Party can come up

with multi-billion dollar new

taxes which leave our budget

in the worst position. But

even on that one measure the superannuation measure, I am

told that in your party room

meeting today, a couple of

MPs or a few MPs expressed

concern that Tony Abbott

announced this without consultation. With the party room. Were you similarly

concerned? I don't talk about

what is discuss ed inside the

party room but let me say

this though, there is,

complete and total support from the Coalition for the position that we have adopted

and that is that we oppose to

the mining tax, we will vote

against the mining tax and

all the measures attached to

it when it comes before the

parliament. We will rescind

the mining tax, if the - if

the government is successful

in getting it passed. We

would not rescind the

increase in superannuation. However, we would not proceed

with any of the other measures that the government

has attached to T that is a position that is overwhelmingly supported across the whole party room.

I thank you. Good to be

here. The shadow Assistant

Treasurer Senator Mathias

Cormann, later in the show we

will also look at one of the

areas that hasn't gain aid

lot of execute any in the

mining tax package. It is

paying for the increase in

the superannuation levy. What

will that mean for business

though who in the end will be

the ones paying this. We will

hear comments, we will be

tacking to Peter Anderson from the chirnd who is

particularly concerned about

this. After Chamber of

Commerce and Industry who is

particularly concerned about

this. After the break though,

Mark Kenny and Malcolm Farr.

You are watching PM Agenda

our panel in just a moment. First let's check the news

headlines with Vannessa.

The bitter dispute

between Qantas and its unions

will be resolved by forced

arbitration. But, passengers

have been assured they won't

be left stranded over the

busy holiday period. The Transport Workers Union says

it is yet to decide if it

will take the industrial

umpire to court, for banning

strike action in the first

place. The Federal Transport Minister remains hopeful that the parties can find common

ground. Uniform police

officers in Sydney have held

a rally to protest changes to

compensation payments. A

large crowd of officers

gathered in parks near

Parliament House. The NSW

Police Association says the

changes to the death and

disability scheme would slash

compensation payments for

injured officers. Officers

hope that today's march will

pressure the Opposition to

block the bill, which is

expected to be introduced to

state parliament this week.

Egypt's interim cabinet has

tendered its resignation as

tens of thousands of people

protests on care row's tar

hir Square. The death toll

from violence over the last

three days has now reached

33. The number of

demonstrators have swell ed

in Tahir Square, the focal

point of a reso the that toppled President Hosni

Mubarak in February. The

Danish royals, Crown Prince

Frederik and Princess Mary

are in Canberra for the

second leg of their official

tour. The couple were met by

the Governor-General, before

being greeted by the Prime

Minister and attending a

luncheon at the Great Hall at

Parliament House. Mary and

Frederik have also visited the national portrait

gallery, and Australian War

Memorial. They will head to

Melbourne tomorrow. In sport, South African Mickey

Arthur is the new coach of

the Australian cricket team.

After being unveiled today,

in Melbourne. The 43-year-old

becomes the first foreigner

to coach Australian cricket,

having previously taken the

Proteas on a nine test

unbeaten run. Arthur was

awarded the top job ahead of

Steve Rickson, former

Australian Binyamin Netanyahu

Tom Moody and former

Australian -- Tom moody and

former an opener and batting

coax Justin Lan -- coach,

Justin Langer. Thanks very much. Let's introduce our

panel this afternoon. Joining

me in Canberra, Malcolm Farr

from news.com.au and Mark

Kenny from the Adelaide 'Advertiser', welcome to you both. I want to start with

the Newspoll out today, Julia

Gillard's had a pretty gu few

weeks with Barack Obama, the

Queen and a lot of

international visits to

summits here and there, she

was expected to get a bounce

and she did in terms of the

preferred Prime Minister. She

is now back in front of Tony Abbott for the first time in

six months but Labor's vote

went down again back to 30%.

Is this a good or bad poll

for Labor? Think it's a poll that probably took a little

bit of wind out of Labor MPs

sails, they were thinking they were building towards something and were hoping

they could go into the end of

the year on the ascendency.

Now, they take some I think comfort from Julia Gillard's

own personal rating coming

back up, sitting PMs should

generally be a head of

Opposition Leaders so it is a

return for what they say is a hopefully natural order for

them. But, it really does

show their primary vote at

30% is a very low figure.

It's better than in the down

in the sort of 26, 27 where

it was for a while, and a

number of polls were grouping

together showing that. So

they take some comfort from

having come off the bottom of

the base but really it shows

that some people may be got

ahead of them civil ing

thinks it was building Labor isn't popular, Julia Gillard

is a little bit more popular.

How do you explain that? She

was doing Prime Ministerial things. And she did them

without bumping into the

furniture so people naturally

tend to think she didn't do

too bad as Prime Minister.

They are not really thinking

about who will I vote for. We

are still two years away from

an election. On the other

side the party vote went

down. There seems to bliefb

in Labor if we get through --

belief in Labor if we get an unpopular piece of legislation through

parliament then voter also

say, well, I hated that but

fair cop, I will - of course

they are not going to. They

don't like the carbon pricing laws, and they didn't like them before the laws were

passed. They don't like them

now. And that's going to be

reflected in the vote all the

time. The notion that passage

of the carbon pricing scheme

would somehow release this

overwhelming flood of warmth

towards the government just wasn't realistic I think we

saw demonstrated in Perth

today that the Coalition --

in parliament today the

Coalition, even though it is

gone through parliament now, they will do everything to

keep this alive whenever they

K they have ceased on the

comments from President Obama last week the US isn't about

to put a price on carbon any

time soon to turn you up the

guns on the carbon tax, the

modelling it is based on. I

will play you an exchange in Question Time this

afternoon. If the Prime

Minister accepts that the US

can reduce emissions with

direct action, does she accept that Australia can do

the same? If the Prime

Minister respects working

families as she has just

claimed, why did she mislead

the Australian public by

claiming before the last

election there will be no

carbon tax under a government

I lead. I am concerned and

this is really a question

addressed to the staff members assisting the

Opposition, I am concerned

that they have brought in

their Question Time back from

May or June or maybe it was

August, or sent. Can -- or

September. Can I say, can I

say to the Opposition, that

your relentless negativity

and your relentless

negativetive... They may be

the same questions that were

asked back in May and June

but they are still having an impact. That's the

point. Well, that is the

point really. As Malcolm says

this is still unpopular legislation, it is now become

law but it hasn't become

popular and the Opposition is

still going to hammer its

greatest strength which is the contradiction between what Julia Gillard told the electorate before the

election and what she's gone

on to do. They think that's

where the margin is and they will keep hammering

it. Despite the polls showing that the Coalition would win

a thumping victory right now,

in the final party room

meetings of the year today it was, a slightly different

tone. Both leaders were

upbeat in their addresses to the backbench and Julia

Gillard talked about perseverance paying off this year and listed all the things they have done from

the carbon tax and mining tax

and there is quite a long

list, NBN, health reform, low

paid improvement last week,

and things like that. But,

and Tony Abbott talked about

the strategy working for them

as well. But there was a bit

of concern in the Coalition

party room about consultation. Malcolm. After

the announcement last week

from Tony Abbott on the

superannuation levy. Yeah,

the difference is for Labor

having formed a minority

government, survival is a

victory. So just having got

through this year. Is pretty

low. Still being around and

drawing breath, was something

of a triumph. And I think

that mood has infected the

caucus, whereas on the other

side in the Coalition party

rooms, the notion is well,

how come we are still in

Opposition, are we doing

anything wrong. Are we going

to muck this up and that's

perhaps why there was a bit

more edge to questions to the

party executive of the

Opposition executive there. I think that's right.

I think there is a sense that

also in the Coalition, a

concern amongst some MPs in the Coalition that yes they

are going extremely well, in

terms of the polls, they have

obviously done extremely well

tagging Julia Gillard with

this contradiction we were

talking about the carbon

price and so forth but they

are worried about this big

budget black hole, this big

$70 billion or whatever the figure is they will have to find just to get back to neutral as the government

says. And there were concerns

about how Tony Abbott arrived

at the sort of superannuation

policy recently, the

concession on that. So, these

things are, it is like a

ticking time-bomb. Yes we are

going well but we could get Gaz ummed by this down the

track unless we are certain

we will be able to make all

these sums add up. The mining

tax, Penny Wong we heard

earlier confident this will

go through the Lower House.

The vote could happen as

early as this evening. The

government's had to make concessions along the way and I guess it's a bit of an

illustration of how this hung parliament works. The

government having to make

concessions, to get things

through. Now on the mining

tax the concessions, it would

seem to me, have been fairly sensible ones politically to

make as well. To do something

on the coal seam gas mining

which a lot of people are concerned about, what the

government's doing is going

to have an independent

scientific panel look at

whether the impact of this

mining is good or bad in a

lot of regions. And, also, lifting the point at which

the tax kicks in for smaller

miners. Malcolm is this an

example of the hung

parliament, this new paradigm

actually being a good thing

in the end? In terms of

outcomes? It islet like

earmarking in the US where

you have pass a piece of

legislation on the size of

tyres and someone attaches on

it and you build a windmill

in my backyard. A hospital

down the road. But what's

different here is, it is

horse trading as you said

happened before. The difference as we have seen

for the last 12 months it is happening in the House of Representatives rather than

in the Senate where normally,

these sort of payoffs are

made to individuals to

independents across benches

there. There is a bit of a

danger in the coal seam gas

issue because in Queensland,

it is popular, a lot of town

are thriving on it and a lot

of towns are existing because

of it and I don't think there

will be much joy if suddenly

this independent committee

down the track found the coal

seam gas was ruining ac

whiffers, pom uting, parming

-- pollutes harming prime agricultural area or should be restricted or banned in

some areas, there will be a

big fight on, not just against the government but

against any Liberals In NSW,

it is a lot of concern about the this thing about to get off the ground and the impact

it will have on some of these

areas, Liverpool Plains, New

England and the Hunter?

Again it really hasn't been

tested to the degree it has

in Queensland, where the

State Government has certain precautions such as, you

know, restrictions on the

sort of land that they can be

exploration etc,. If there

are in NSW a certain similar

package of pro conduction -- precautions, you might find

town s welcoming this sort of

operation. These sort of

projects because they bring a

lot of dough. It does depend

to some extent on what sort

of teeth this new process has

to clag up, whether it stops

projects going ahead or the

extent to which it is a

restriction. It is very

cumbersome. You have the

experts, another group that

considers what the experts

say and then have you got to

try to convince the states to agree with the other group

that agrees with

the... That's right. It

surely will slow down the

whole process of coal seam

gas mining. We heard also

Tony Abbott's last night at

the Sydney institute deliver

what he's called a landmark

speech on the economy and

flagged that he will have

more of these on other areas

as well. Is this the start of

Tony Abbott shifting gears

into a more positive mode? I

think, I suspect it is. I

think it is recognition of the thing we were talking

about a minute ago which is

there are some concerns

amongst some of the people in

the party room about the way

policy has been made and about whether they can make

the sums add up. He said last

night in this speech that it's unrealistic for the Opposition to have to be

costing all its policies

before MYEFO for example and

he is dead right about

that. I'm sorry, crisis

mid-year budget. Sorry,

crisis mini budget. Wasn't it

label ed as that? One minute

it's a crisis mini budget,

next it is the mid-year

economic, just the standard

mid-year financial outlook.

Whatever it is there is a recognition from Tony Abbott

he needs to start sort of

filling in some of these numbers and that's what this

is really about. He was

asked a couple of questions at the end too and of course

he was asked about the Qantas

dispute going to arbitration

and what the Coalition plans are on industrial relations.

We have a bit here of Tony

Abbott, well, dipping his toe in the water on industrial

relations. If the Prime

Minister accepts that the US

can reduce emissions with

direct action, does she accept that Australia can do

the same? If the Prime

Minister respects working

families as she has just

claimed, why did she mislead

the Australian public. S that

obviously the same bit we

played a little earlier but

we do have Tony Abbott here I

think, in his Sydney

institute speech last night

talking about industrial

relations. We don't have it.

A apologies but what he did

say is that - he did do it I

assure you and he talked

about... I don't know! He talked about the Coalition

changes to the fair work Act which he has always played

down in the last year or so

is any prospect of

significant change change.

But they will go to

flexibility and productivity

and dealing with these sort

of disputes, dispute

resolution. Are we going to

see the Coalition bold on

industrial relations? Well, look, if he was saying

dose Bowled over. I thought

Mr Abotd had been saying for

quite a while if there was

any changes to IR policy they

would come from the top down,

as in employers would make recommendations, now. If

Qantas is the trigger to

this, is thetary tore this re appraisal I don't think any employers will be saying something, this is awful. I

think they will be cheering

on Qantas It is an asthma to

the Liberals view on how... The central umpire

deciding disputes. They went

to the last election, Tony

Abbott went to the last election saying not only was

WorkChoices dead, buried and

cremated but the fair Act

will remain essentially

untouched for three years.

That remains at this stage at

least the only policy that's

on table. I understand when I

have spoken to them they dead

said "We didn't win the

election so that policy

doesn't exist anymore skwets.

This is the sort of as you

sea the toe in the water the

first utterances of building

towards a policy. They will

have to come up with an IR policy. What about Labor,

clearly a lot of unions are

going to be pretty concerned about how the Fair Work Act

has worked here, that a

company is able to do what

Qantas has done and get the

outcome presumably that they

have always wanted. Do you

think there will be union

pressure for a move in the

other direction from Labor to

strengthen their hand? There

is a suggestion from the

Coalition in Question Time

that the government was being

very friendly to unions

through the building

commission, or was it during

the party room meeting

someone raised this. A

suggestion from the Coalition

ranks the government has been

too friendly to the unions, the Australian building

commission and whatever it is

and other areas. And I

thought, well I don't know

many unions who think that

the building commission is a

terrific institution. And I'm

quite sure they are not tickled pink with the government's handling of the

Qantas dispute. So I can't

quite see it as this stage

where is that area of

pressure on the government to

make more concessions to

trade unions. I I think a lot turns on what comes out of

this arbitrated process. It seems fairly clear the unions are certainly of the view

that Qantas was moving

towards this the whole time.

That they essentially didn't

negotiate in good faith, they

were really just all about

getting an arbitrated outcome

because they actually think when Fair Work Australia

arbitrated a decision it will respect managerial prerogative. Now that's yet

to be tested but if that is

the case and I think there

will be a lot of political

pressure on Labor to do

something about the way the

Act works, and it will put

pressure on the Opposition as well. Final question and kind

of gets back to where we

started. The mining tax will presumably go through tonight or tomorrow morning. At the end of this parliamentary

year, has this been a year of

decision and delivery as

Julia Gillard promise? I I

want to put another D in

there, desperation. I think,

the government, the

resilience of Julia Gillard

personally and the word she

used today, the perseverance

of the government has paid on because they are still around

and lives to fight for those

crucial two years up to the

election. So to extent I

think the Prime Minister and

the Labor Party would be very

pleased. But, that's

concerning what could have

happened and it's hard to imagine anything worse happening to this government

but it could have been a lot

worse. Yes, possibly derition

and delivery might be a

better way of putting it. Somebody said assuming this mining tax goes through they would have knocked over two

of the I issues that effectively knocked over Kevin Rudd so from that point

of view they will be saying

this is a very significant

sort of achievement. But the

three issues she promised to

fix was the carbon tax.

Emissions trading, the mining

tax but asylum seekers, the

third remains a mess. It does remain a big mess and it will continue into next year and I

guess we will see how that

transpires but there are no

easy answers there. Two out

of three ain't bad. I don't

think that works. Not in politics. Good to talk to you

both, thanks for that. After

the break we will have a look

at one of the elements of the

mining tax package, the increase in the

superannuation levy, how will

this effect business. We will

be talking to Peter Anderson from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Stay with us.

Well as we were discussing

earlier, the mining tax is

due to go through the Lower House of parliament this week

and then through the Senate

next year. One key element

attached to the mining tax is

an increase in the superannuation levy for all

Australians rising over some

years from 9% to 12%. It is

important to improve our retirement incomes as.population ages but who

will pay for this? It will the employers and they are certainly not too thrilled at the prospect. I spoke a

little earlier to Peter

Anderson, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and

Industry. Peter Anderson thank you for your time. What

is your major concern about the increase in the

superannuation levy? The

superannuation levy increase,

which is a very large one,

3%, additional payroll tax

basically, is going to be

funded by Australia's

employers not by the mining

tax. And so, despite the fact

that the government's saying

we need the mining tax to

lift people's superannuation, the fine print in the

legislation tells us

otherwise, hundreds of

thousands of employers, most

of whom are small to medium

businesses will be pay ing a

higher superannuation levy, seven occasions over the

course of the next eight

years. There is a cut in the

company tax rate of 1% to

help them with that and also

an instand asset write off provision for small

business? Nowhere near come benstating for the

superannuation levy rise -- compensating for the

superannuation levy rise. The

tax cut is om about so% of

the -- only about 10% of the total cost of the

superannuation lift, the

small business asset write

off is an accelerated

depreciation arrangement. It

is good policy, but it is a

cash flow issue, doesn't

provide a tax saving at the end of the period and there

is 200,000 small and medium

employers who are not incorporated companies, who

have to pay the superannuation levy any way.

So they don't get any

corporate tax cut. They won't

get the company tax. That's right. Will this lead to

lower wages for employers

over time? The government

says that it hopes this will

be a wage superannuation

trade-off. But again, when

you look at the reality, that

is a forlorn hope because as

soon as the government asks

the parliament to legislate

an employer obligation from

9% of payroll to 12%, no

union in their right mind in

Australia is going to offset

their wage claims for an obligation, employers already have been told by the

parliament they have to

carry. So, the idea that this

will be part of a wage

trade-off paid as lower wages

but higher superannuation, is

regrettably not going to

emerge. So in your view it is just simply going to be a hit

to the bottom line of a lot

of companies, and

incorporated business, un incorporated businesses, you

accept though that we do need

to increase our retirement

savings, we are all getting

older the population is ageing and we will need to

ease the strain on the pension from the government's

point of view. Well, I do,

but you cabinet just cost

shift, from -- you can't just cost shift from the

government sector to the

private sector and you

certainly can't without a

full and consider ed debate

about how you equitably fund

retirement incomes in

Australia and by tagging this superannuation proposal on

the coat-tails of the mining

tax legislation, it has been

hit hidden away from sight,

it hasn't been subject to the full parliamentary debate

that it deserves, if any

government, in Australia was

going to say they would lift

payroll tax by 3% there will

be a hue and cry and a big

public debate. That is

essentially what is happening

by stealth. You are saying

split the bills, you are

saying on the mining tax you

are supportive or happy to

see that go through? We think

the tax arrangements for the

mining industry have to be debated and resolved within

the mining and resource

industries and there is differences of opinion

between larger miners and

smaller miners on that. Are

you not actively out there

opposing it? No, we haven't

actively campaigned against the passage of the legislation because you

really need to allow those

taxation arrangements to be

resolved by the industry that

is particularly affected. But

when it comes to the fact

that the mining tax is said

to fund higher superannuation

but in truth is not going to fund higher superannuation,

but hundreds of thousands of

employers, small and medium businesses in the suburbs and

the country towns, are going

to do so, then it is an issue

on which we have to stand up,

and the government should

allow a full and independent

parliamentary debate on that

issue not just tag it along

with a mine ing tax. Tony

Abbott is voting against it

but he has made clear if he

wins the lection and forms

government he will keep that

superannuation levy increase.

Are you disappointed with

ha? I am, it's a mistake

because there is no funding basis that either the

Opposition or the government have put forward as to how

this will ultimately be

funded. Six of the seven

increases that the government

wants the parliament to

legislate are scheduled to

occur after the date of the

next federal election if this

parliament runs its full

term. So, there is very good

reason why the Opposition

could quite respectively have

said we will keep in place those increases that have

come into effect, yet if we

do get into government, but

will have a fresh look how to

find a funding basis if we

need to introduce those further increases. And

finally, can I ask you on

industrial relations, the

Qantas dispute, now headed for arbitration, by Fair Work Australia, the independent

umpire, are you comfortable

with that outcome? Look, I

think we just have to let

that process happen. What I'm not comfortable with is

unions trying to make claims

either in a bargaining

process or in in an ar bitral

process which go to really

issues of management

responsibility and corporate

structures. Companies do need

to exercise the

responsibility to ensure that

they are able to meet the competitive pressures of the

modern global economy, Qantas

and any other company in

global supply chains needs to

be given that space. And

whether it's arbitration or whether it's bargaining, that

needs to be the underlying principle. Thank you. Thanks

very much. Peter anderson

the head of the Chamber of

Commerce and Industry, that's

all we have time for today's

show. We will be back same